Bur­glar ‘is a men­ace to all res­i­dents’

Accrington Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JON MACPHER­SON jon.macpher­son@men-news.co.uk @JonMacMEN

APROLIFIC bur­glar who broke into two fam­ily homes af­ter los­ing his job as a church cafe vol­un­teer has been jailed.

Martin Ri­ley, 42, re­lapsed into heroin use and raided the prop­er­ties on Whal­ley Road in Clay­ton-le-Moors and Queens Road in Ac­cring­ton.

The dad-of-one stole £5,500 worth of elec­tri­cal equip­ment from one prop­erty and was dis­turbed by the owner of an­other af­ter she caught him in her house, Burn­ley Crown Court heard.

Ri­ley, of Burn­ley Road, Clay­ton-le-Moors, pleaded guilty to two counts of bur­glary and was jailed for 39 months.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ju­dith Mc­Cul­lough said Ri­ley broke into the house on Queens Road through a ground floor win­dow on Novem­ber 27 and that ‘ev­ery room’ had been searched.

He stole £5,500 worth of equip­ment, in­clud­ing games con­soles, DVDs, jew­ellery and watches.

Ri­ley was iden­ti­fied af­ter CSI of­fi­cers found his blood in three places around the prop­erty and he was ar­rested three days later. A mo­bile phone stolen from the house was re­cov­ered from him.

The vic­tims said they are now ‘anx­ious and fear­ful’ to go out and had to spend ‘a con­sid­er­able amount of money to buy CCTV and alarm sys­tems’.

Miss Mc­Cul­lough said Ri­ley also en­tered an un­locked house on Whal­ley Road in Clay­ton-leMoors at around 8pm on Oc­to­ber 17.

The owner re­turned home to find Ri­ley’s dog tied to a drain pipe out­side and when she went into the house she saw the de­fen­dant in the kitchen.

The court heard how Ri­ley told the vic­tim ‘I’m re­ally sorry. I’ve got com­pletely the wrong house. I should be next door but one’ be­fore leav­ing.

Miss Mc­Cul­lough said the woman’s hus­band had left a side door un­locked and went to a foot­ball match but noth­ing had been stolen.

An­thony Parkin­son, de­fend­ing, said Ri­ley is ‘dis­ap­pointed to be in court again’ af­ter a fouryear gap.

He told the court that when he was re­leased from prison in 2013 he was drug-free and ‘en­gaged with a church in Ac­cring­ton that has an ad­join­ing coffee shop,’ where he vol­un­teered.

How­ever he lost the role in Oc­to­ber last year and ‘fell back into his old ways’.

Mr Parkin­son said: “He doesn’t know or can’t ex­plain why he made the fate­ful de­ci­sion to take heroin again. By his own ad­mis­sion he has a ter­ri­ble record for dis­hon­esty.”

Martin Ri­ley has been jailed for 39 months

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.